Modifying a load bearing wall

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  #1  
Old 05-11-07, 09:32 AM
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Modifying a load bearing wall

First let me say that I will definitely contact an architect before I do this, but I want to know if its even worth discussing first. In order to convert our galley style kitchen to an "L", we need to knock out TWO load bearing walls that are parallel and close to each other. The situation is basically shown in my "diagram" below (I apologize for my primitive drawing!):

.......XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
..................................Hall.................................................
.......YYYYYYYYYYY 1YYYYYYYYYYYY3YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
.........................Y A A A
........................ Y 1ZZZZZZZZZZZZ3ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
..........Dining
..........Room
.........................Y.................Kitchen
.........................Y
111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

Basically, "1" is the outside wall, "X", "Y" and "Z" are load bearing walls. Tehe "."s are there just as spacers to get the text aligned properly. The roof was built without trusses (i.e. stick built). In order to convert the kitchen properly, I need to knock out Y and Z between the "1" and "3" (the "A"s are showing location of pantry and hall closets. Now, what I REALLY want to know is, can I support the ceiling trusses in the knocked out section with cross-trusses from ABOVE, in the attic. To me this sounds sort of crazy but I just don't see any other attractive alternative. Any yes, there truly are short sections of trusses between X&Y and Y&Z, I don't know why they did this back in 1948 when lumber was plenty and cheap, but they did.

If I can't use cross-trusses in the attic, are there any alternatives other than rebuilding the entire ceiling structure. I could live with one header beam accross the kitchen, but two would seam rather unsightly.

Thanks,
Biederboat
 
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  #2  
Old 05-11-07, 11:23 AM
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"Now, what I REALLY want to know is, can I support the ceiling trusses in the knocked out section with cross-trusses from ABOVE, in the attic."

A lumber and plywood box beam might be what you need, check out this url:

http://proactive-online.net/Documents/Nailed%20Structural%20Use%20Panel-Lumber%20Beams.pdf

This past winter I put a couple of these in my attic. They're not supporting the roof, as such, but are providing mid-span support for some long ceiling joists, so that I could then remove a couple of interior walls.

Simple design, relatively cheap and readily available materials. You can get everything you need at a lumber yard and cut and assemble it yourself with everyday tools. [Though having access to a nail gun will make it go much faster.]

I cut the parts, then carried them into the attic and assembled it in place. I used sections of perforated metal L-beams to fasten the box beam to the ceiling joists. The box beam ends rest on load-bearing walls.

You might be able to do the same. It will depend on whether there is sufficient room to assemble such a beam within the web structure of the existing roof trusses. If there is not room above the present location of the walls, it may be possible to install them at a differnt location, and still provide adequate support. In your case I would certainly get an engineering evaluation of the project before proceeding.
 
  #3  
Old 05-30-07, 07:18 PM
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Maybe I'm just confused (wouldn't be the first time), but are you sure all three of those walls are load bearing? If so, what are they bearing (second story? roof tension? ceiling plaster? load in the attic?)...are "trusses" the same as ceiling joists?
 
  #4  
Old 05-30-07, 07:21 PM
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Actually, maybe not. I'm considering them "load bearing" in the sense that they support ceiling joist joints. The joists themselves aren't really supporting anything except the plaster/sheetrock on the kitchen ceiling.

Biederboat
 
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